A PETITION has been launched to reinstate Sister Rita to the Lalley Centre in Salford after her departure from the centre last month.
Sister Rita Lee, who hails from Co. Cork, made her name on the BBC series Sister Rita to the Rescue as a straight-talking nun who helps people struggling with a range of issues.
Sister Rita’s no nonsense approach also earned her the fond nickname Attila the Nun.
The Lalley Centre is a drop-in centre in Collyhurst, Salford which caters to the welfare needs and services to the community.
The petition, titled ‘Reinstate Sister Rita at the Lalley Centre’, praised the Sister who has “given many years of her life” to the community.
“Sister Rita has given many years of her life to build and support the Lalley Centre in Collyhurst and has made an invaluable contribution to people throughout this area.
“After ten years service Caritas have decided to let her go and disregarded the opinions of all the centre users and local community! The Centre needs Sister Rita and so does the Collyhurst community.”
The petition needs 1,000 signatures, and has so far received 530 supporters with many commenting their fears for the centre without Sister Rita.
“Calcutta had Mother Theresa, Collyhurst have Sister Rita,” one said, “Bring her back.”
“She is the heart and soul of this community,” another wrote.
“Sister Rita is doing a fantastic job which is badly needed by the community,” another added.
The Caritas Diocese of Salford have acknowledged the fears of residents but said it is “committed” to serving the community.
Sister Rita has been called to other vocational work by her congregation and she will conclude her service to the Lalley Centre as the year draws to a close.
“Caritas Diocese of Salford would like to acknowledge the concern of local residents, regarding the continuation of the Lalley Centre and its vital community services.
“We are committed to serving the local community by developing the services that are based at The Lalley Centre. Sister Rita Lee has worked tirelessly to support the community in Collyhurst, where the Lalley Centre is based.
“She will be remembered fondly, and lovingly, by all those she has helped over the last decade. We sincerely wish Sister Rita well in her future endeavours.”
Mark Wiggin, CEO of Caritas Diocese of Salford, also added they wanted to “reassure” people they will be continuing Sister Rita’s work.
“Caritas is committed to continuing and building on her good work in North Manchester and want to reassure everyone, particularly people who use the Lalley Centre and the Food bank that we will be continuing her good work.”